A recent post at 9to5Mac blog, stated: “During the TechCrunch Disrupt conference today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that going HTML 5 for Facebook’s iOS app was a big strategic mistake”. Well, was it a mistake ?
While Facebook can allow itself to build a native application for each platform of mobile OS (and mind you there are quite many different mobile OS out there), this can never be a strategic direction for all other companies. In fact, the direction in the market IS going with HTML5. the analyst group Gartner mention in their Magic Quadrant from Apr 26th, 2012 that: “by 2015, 80% of all mobile applications developed will be hybrid or mobile-Web-oriented.”.
And that is despite the fact that the user experience of HTML5 is not yet as good as the one of a native app.
IDC discuss the convergence process that is happening today between HTML5 and native application capabilities saying that we already see quite remarkable achievements in that area. Soon, these differences in the user experience will be irrelevant.
The costs of developing native applications and maintaining the uniformity of these applications across all mobile devices is huge. Most businesses in the world can not, and in my opinion, should not invest their money in this. Why develop many different applications for each mobile phone, while you can develop once and have it across all mobile devices ?
While Mark Zuckerberg’s statement might be true for Facebook, it is by no means true for any other business.